I’m just hopelessly bad at it, the co-ordination beyond me, the reactions too slow and confused.
Yes I can bowl. That seems to be the case. Nasty dipping quickish inswingers, making the batsman clamp down on the ball just in the nick of time.
Some of the time. But it is better than being totally hopeless. I’m even getting a few nods of approval and grudging respect. I groan like a werewolf at the point of delivery, hot in the moment of the first bite or a powerful orgasm, and I feel vaguely sporting as much as stupid and embarrassed. But as a cricketer, our job is to entertain, in any way we can.
|A better batsman than me in the act of hitting the bloody ball|
Which seems as good a time as any to move onto my batting, this tangled limb feast of imbalance and limbic confusion, prompted by a sort of rising fear as I watch the ball in the bowler’s hand rise up into the delivery position, before whipping around in a circular blur to propel the little red sphere on a rapidly closing and possibly painful trajectory with my body, and less often, my bat.
There is no grace in this, but a lot of comedy. Willow seeks ball like an unattractive man trying to kiss a beautiful girl with his eyes closed; ball seeks balls like an precision missile. A hard plastic papal hat has protected my manhood, but most other parts of my body have been left with large purple and green bruises, marks of honour yes, but marks of shame too, a military damage map of incompetence that the stump high eleven year olds of the team are able to avoid.
No matter your class or education, the battle twixt bat and ball is a great leveller. Usually of my face, predictably, endlessly, into the dirt.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 02.03.17